Facilitating the preparation of the Gram Panchayat Development Plan through effective community participation
The 73rd amendment of the Constitution of India provided the constitutional status and institutional framework to Panchayats to strengthen grassroots level democracy through elected self-governing local bodies in the rural areas of the country. The Constitutional amendment also emphasized functional and fiscal decentralization of powers to achieve good governance through people’s participation and thus enabling transparency, responsiveness, equity, efficiency and accountability. Article 243G of the Constitution provides power, authority and responsibility to panchayaths. The Constitution always intends to empower the Gram Panchayats (GPs) by enabling the State Governments to devolve powers and authority including those matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule for planning and implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice. GPs have been mandated for the preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) for economic development and social justice utilizing the resources available to them. The GPDP planning process has to be comprehensive and based on participatory process, which inter alia involves the full convergence with schemes of all related Central Ministries / Line Departments related to 29 subjects (Annexure 1) enlisted in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution. Panchayats have a significant role to play in the effective and efficient implementation of flagship schemes on subjects of national importance for transformation of rural India.
The coverage of People’s Plan Campaign, initiated under “Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas” was not complete and the entire process was completed in three months. It is understood from the observations made from the documents uploaded in the recent days on GPDP 2020-2021, that majorly only 3 to 5 sectors have been concentrated out of the 29 sectors and minimal convergence with the line departments. There is no alignment with the real time requirements of the respective panchayats. It clearly indicates that there is dire need to handhold the Panchayat members to envisage the process and develop the GPDP. The Government of India initiated the process of ‘People’s plan campaign – 2020-2021 by 2nd of October, 2020 and the campaign will go for 120 days this year. The campaign will be completed by 31st January, 2021 and the Gram Panchayat Development Plan is expected to be ready by end of January. The plan will then be uploaded in the dash board. Based on the previous experiences, facilitating the entire process and handholding the community is the absolute necessity to prepare real people’s plan for the village.
In this context, Vallioor Multipurpose Social Service Society (VMSSS) proposes to facilitate the preparation of GPDP through participation of community and civil service organizations in select 10 Panchayats in the state of Tamil Nadu. We intend to work in similar lines adopted by People’s Plan Campaign and the Guidelines for Preparation of GPDP, published by Ministry of Panchayati Raj in 2018. The project will be executed based on the nine chapters provided in the guidelines (Annexure 2). Moreover, we aim to facilitate various schemes instituted by the state and central Government for the benefit of the villagers to reach the targeted beneficiaries.